Education and Youth
Forward Adult Education
A person who flees his or her homeland because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on the basis of race, religion, political belief, ethnicity, or belonging to a certain social group.
The newly-arrived refugees we serve, who represent a wide range of cultures and languages, are under tremendous pressure to adapt quickly to American life and culture. Within a few short months, they are expected to speak English, find sustainable employment, enroll their children in school, and understand the complexities of the American health care system, government programs, the school system, and social services.
With decades of experience, our case management team members, many of whom are former refugees themselves, know how to help refugee families overcome barriers to success. Through community partnerships and referrals, shared experience, common language, and cultural affinity, they build trust and personal relationships, provide positive role models for success, and encourage new Americans to persevere. We walk with new Americans on their journey to self-sufficiency through Ongoing Services for up to five years from the date of arrival, with case management and career support.
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Refugee youth face specific challenges to success including education gaps, language barriers, and limited supplemental academic support. In addition, newly arriving refugee children exhibit a strong need for focused social and behavioral support as they acclimate to the United States’ education system and culture. Not addressing these needs may leave youth and their families a short window of opportunity to obtain literacy and core skills before graduating from high school.
Despite these challenges, we consistently find that when refugee youth are supported by social structures and targeted assistance, they make rapid progress in their education and thrive as members of their community.
Led by experienced professional educators, our Youth Programs ensure that refugee youth advance on grade level and enter high school prepared and on-track to graduate, while our School Liaison program ensures individualized support to parents so they are able to navigate the U.S. school system.. In partnership with DeKalb County Schools, 21st Century Community Learning Centers and Inspiritus, we provide Pathways to Bright Futures, a school-based afterschool and summer enrichment program with school liaison services. We serve approximately 180 refugee students and 90 parents each year.
of Forward Cohort participants achieved one of their major career goals within one year of completion of the program.
English at Home is a home centered program that provides in-home English as a second language (ESL) tutoring, and cultural mentorship for refugees with the help of dedicated volunteers. Most refugees served are those who do not have access to other ESL services – the elderly, mothers of small children, those whose work schedules prevent them from being able to attend classes, and those who are homebound due to cultural expectations or with acute disability. Volunteers visit the students’ homes for two hours once a week to help with English language development using curriculum provided by New AP.
English at Home is one of our greatest ongoing volunteer needs. Check out our volunteer page to learn how you can get involved.
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New American Pathways’ Forward Adult Education Program provides support to refugees and immigrants who are looking to improve their English fluency and grow in their careers. Our English at Home program matches volunteers with new Americans for one on one English Tutoring. Our vocational counseling services help refugees and immigrants develop the skills they need to advance in their careers through one on one support and/or enrollment in our Forward Career Pathways cohort program.
The Forward program provides targeted vocational services for the purpose of assisting clients in obtaining higher education degrees and/or advancement in their career. Program components include financial literacy education, career and education counseling, credential evaluation referrals, and assistance with internship, training, and job placements. Interested refugees and immigrants can take advantage of one on one appointments, or can sign up for the Forward Cohort, a 12 week intensive program which includes one-on-one career counseling, workshops, and mentorship support.
Many refugees and immigrants bring a wealth of education and job skills and want to pursue careers that utilize their skills and provide a sustainable financial future for their families. The Forward program supports long- term self-sufficiency by providing a pathway to education, sustainable employment and financial literacy. In order to move beyond initial self-sufficiency into meaningful careers, many refugees need targeted support services. Also, in recent years, we have seen an increase in arrivals who hold advanced degrees in their home countries and want to immediately pursue higher level employment in the United States.
The Forward program gives these individuals targeted services to place them on their pathway to Success. Program components include financial literacy, career counseling, educational planning, vocational ESL, career training workshops, and mentorship. Interested refugees and immigrants can take advantage of our drop in services on a weekly basis, or can sign up for the Forward Cohort, a 12 week intensive program designed to help clients develop their career goals and an action plan to achieve those goals.
The concept of “family empowerment” varies in meaning in different parts of the world. Refugee parents want to lay a secure foundation for their children’s success, but that they sometimes need additional support, skills, and education. We provide early intervention, family violence prevention, and targeted women’s career development to support refugee parents and their children.
Through Parents as Teachers (PAT), a nationally accredited, evidence-based curriculum, we help parents of infants, toddlers and preschoolers understand child development, promote literacy, access early learning programs, and become effective teachers and advocates. PAT’s mission is to provide the information, support and encouragement that parents need to help their children develop optimally during the crucial early years of their lives. One of PAT’s core principles is based on the notion that parents are their children’s first and most influential teachers. PAT educators support refugee parents in being the best teachers they can be.
Through our Family Violence Prevention program, we deliver culturally relevant and linguistically appropriate services to refugee and immigrant victims of domestic violence in a supportive and trusting environment. With more than 20 languages spoken on staff, we are uniquely prepared to meet both the language needs and the culturally specific issues of refugee victims of domestic violence. Advocates provide crisis intervention, as well as post-crisis services that help victims become survivors, who are safe, stable, and self-sufficient.
Our Women’s Careers program provides targeted career development assistance to refugee women with a full range of English skills and professional backgrounds. Clients develop an individual career development plan with their employment specialist and establish job-related goals they can achieve within one year. Clients receive direct employment assistance, including resume writing, interview preparation, job searches, completing job applications, and other support toward employment goals. They may be matched with mentors when appropriate to provide guidance in their field of choice. Clients are connected with ESL services and other skill building resources that are necessary to prepare them for employment.
Navigating the United States Immigration system can be overwhelming. Our Immigration Services team provides low-cost high-quality immigration legal services to refugees, asylees, Cuban entrants, survivors of human trafficking, domestic violence, and other crimes, and other immigrants who have low income. We are licensed through the Department of Justice to represent clients before USCIS (“Immigration”) and are working toward licensing to represent people in Immigration Court.
Our department assists people by filing applications for green cards, work permits, marriage-based cases, family reunification, citizenship, travel documents, and various other types of cases. We hold weekly walk-ins where we give advice, make appointments, check on pending cases, and complete simple applications for people.
voters being added to the Georgia voter rolls.
We are committed to supporting activities that promote civic involvement, encourage self-advocacy, and help build collective power within new American communities. This includes initiatives aimed at boosting electoral participation, increasing rates of Census completion, and building the capacity of new American leaders to organize their respective communities. We also work alongside allies within communities to engage in education and advocacy opportunities. It is through this lens of civic empowerment and participation in Democracy that we seek to promote more welcoming policies in Georgia.
Through our coalition work with other partners who are committed to increasing voter engagement throughout the state, we register new citizens to vote at every single naturalization ceremony. Our voter engagement program additionally consists of field-based voter registration, voter education workshops, and voter mobilization activities such as door-to-door canvassing and phone banking.
In collaboration with our partners in the Coalition of Refugee Service Agencies, our national partners at CWS, and other immigrant rights advocacy organizations, we advocate for more welcoming policies at both the federal and state levels of government. We also promote community organizing efforts to connect refugees and new Americans to opportunities to share their stories with legislators and advocate on behalf of themselves and their communities.
Meaningful civic engagement starts with connecting new Americans to foundational concepts around government and elements of how it operates. We conduct workshops in refugee and immigrant communities on a variety of topics.
New American Pathways is excited to announce the second year of Civic Pathways, an 8-month leadership development program created in partnership with the University of Georgia’s J.W. Fanning Institute of Leadership. A new round of applicants will be selected in early spring of each year and will participate in a series of monthly workshops, discussions, projects, and other activities designed to strengthen their skills as civic leaders in their local communities. Learn more about the program here.
In 2022 we reached over 45,000 people via voter engagement efforts.
We registered 2,772 new Americans to vote in 2022.
In February, 275 people met with state elected officials as part of the New Americans celebration at GA State Capitol.